Internet Dating… Navigating New Territory
Earlier this year I had an unexpected, very brief and as it turns out, highly successful dabble with the internet dating scene. By brief I mean brief… as in 4 days, but boy did it give me insight and a learning trajectory worth the foray.
As would seem common amongst many women, certainly many I know, the idea of trawling through realms of photos and profiles, navigating a myriad of messages and attempting to sift the genuine from the not-so, was not at all my idea of fun, let alone anything I seriously expected might be worth my while. I certainly wasn’t expecting what I found on any level, having many pre-conceived ideas about what dating sites are all about, AND as it turned out, a number of ideals around what a ‘perfect partner’ or even a ‘potential partner’ might look like, and for that reason alone, the story is worth the telling.
With a significant percentage of the single (and apparently not-so-single!) population using this method of meeting potential partners, companions, one-night-stands and goodness knows what else, and with a significant proportion of these agreeing that it is an ‘easier and more efficient way of meeting people’, I certainly found myself with plenty of company in a seemingly endless sea of fish, pun intended – the site was named ‘Plenty of Fish’ (POF)! Already that was unappealing, however with a recommendation in hand, I jumped in, determined at the very least that if I was going to put myself forward, that I had to be prepared to show myself and my life for what it is, in full, nothing hidden, and with no need to convince anyone of my merit as a partner.
I knew full well that my life would have little appeal to the vast majority, l’d even go so far as to say I had a more tenuous (and false) feeling that it would hold little appeal to ANYONE, even though it is a life so full of love, meaning, purpose, depth, connection, richness, simplicity, delight and fun that I would not swap any part of it for anything!
The thing about my particular life though is that it is essentially about service to others, which in effect means that it’s not about hobbies, pursuits, passions, interests, holidays or time-out. It’s not the usual sort of lifestyle where I work hard then play hard, or work myself hard towards a personal goal as many might relate to. It’s a life whereby my choices determine the ability and depth to which I can support another… not the usual approach, but the payoff in quality of life I get to experience as part of this is nothing short of amazing.
So somehow I had to convey this in order for a potential partner to not get the wrong first impression, hiding something I would only have to reveal at a later date and deal with the impact of having allowed an assumption, or played along in the dating process with something that a) was of no actual interest to me and b) would have no relevance nor place in my life going forward.
The main point here is not about my life and circumstance so much as the fact I felt very clear about who I was, what my life is about and that for me, this was not negotiable. It was not going to work for me to dilly dally around playing a game of hide and seek, showing parts I thought would be acceptable, keeping the real me, and the real choices I make every day, and the reason I make them something to discover later on when he might be already ‘sold’ on me through other attractive means. The truth is, I’d always been very chameleon-like, very capable of attracting men by other means, shifting and changing to accommodate those I wanted to keep in my life, or by my side as was often the case.
This new level of disclosure and honesty in putting myself out there was also in part to ensure that the many who WERE seemingly looking for someone to accompany them in their life’s pursuits, would not see ME as a potential match. I didn’t want to spend hours navigating messages or requests that I knew were going nowhere.
So… that’s what I did, and 4 days later, read a message that stopped me in my tracks. Feeling to read further I discovered a profile that threw me into a spin. Here I was reading something that felt different and somewhere deeper inside, somehow right… I was not expecting that! In that instant I knew I was facing the reality of a potential relationship… BUT with it came the entanglement of enumerable images that instantly coloured the way I saw and interpreted some of what I took in.
In retrospect it made me begin opening up an awareness of how often I had chosen a relationship in the past based on these images. Did the man fit my picture? And had I embarked on the relationships of the past only based on those pictures being met? A picture I didn’t even know I had it was so entrenched and by that I mean, I didn’t even look at a man with any openness to a potential relationship if he didn’t fit that picture first! It was not a conscious thought, just the way it was, accepted as part of my make-up. That’s who I was attracted to, and if he didn’t measure up, then I wasn’t interested!
So for the first time in my life when it came to dating, I had an unmistakable discord within me, a deeper sense of something right I couldn’t ignore, and at the same time a surface discomfort that was at odds with these deeper feelings. In retrospect, thankfully I followed the former, responded tentatively and accepted an invitation for a walk.
Despite my own seeming trepidations at beginning the process of letting in what was so clearly true of this man, I also began identifying, sifting and discarding what l’d chosen to bring along for the ride – baggage you could say that was blatantly inhibitory to allowing the natural unfolding of a relationship based on nothing but an openness to love!
One of the greatest revelations throughout this process was the understanding that up till that point in my life, I had never actually let a man in, allowing him to see me in full, nor to see him for who he was in full either. While this remains a forever evolving and deepening process, I had only ever previously let in the image of what a man lived up to.
In that sense, I had never seen a partner for who he was truly, he was always coloured by the pictures I held him up against, measured constantly by virtue of his ability to match my idea of what he should be like.
A few months down the track and I can say that those pictures are now well and truly side-lined, and what remains is the ability to see and feel another for the purity of who they are, which is nothing short of sublime! With these images out of the way, love is free to be felt and nurtured, simple, unadulterated and without obstacle. There are no dynamics, no games and no manipulations possible without feeling the instantaneous loss of the love that otherwise exists… it is the foundation and the benchmark against which everything else must measure up… most certainly new territory for me and in that, and in time, so much more to share.
For the awareness, insight and understanding that has inspired this transformative change, my enormous appreciation for Serge Benhayon and the entire Benhayon family. Their tireless love, support and the living example they provide of what love is, has offered the continuous opportunity to see things more clearly and from there make different choices.
If not for this truly divine reflection, I would still be living a life devoid of the true love made possible when we are free from the pictures and images that otherwise colour our view.